Date: 12th October 2017 at 1:21pm
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Newcastle United fans have been reasonably buoyant in the Transfer Tavern during the international break following their side’s fine start to the season.

The North East giants have won three of their opening seven Premier League games upon return to the top-flight, and drew 1-1 at home to Liverpool last time out to underline the progress they are making under manager Rafa Benitez.

The Magpies will go in search of another three points at Southampton on Sunday, and several of our resident Newcastle supporters will likely be intrigued by reports in the Portuguese media (via The Shields Gazette), which suggest that their side are eyeing up a January move for defender Lisandro Lopez.

The 28-year-old currently plays his trade with Portuguese champions Benfica and has done so since 2013, in which time he has 50 games and scored five goals from defence, and thus helped them to three successive Primeira Liga titles.

However, the Argentina international appeared just eight times in the league last season and has failed to make the matchday squad in any of their last three matches this term as well, which suggests that he is slipping down the pecking order at the Estadio da Luz.

And reports suggest that Benitez and Newcastle are targeting a January move for the defender in a bid to bolster their own defensive ranks, although just six goals against in seven games suggests that it’s not an area that needs vast improvement.

Nonetheless, should Lopez’s situation at Benfica remain, it’s plausible that Newcastle could launch a move when the window reopens in January.

Landlord’s verdict: Much was made of Newcastle United’s struggle to land transfer targets during the summer, but their impressive start suggests that the squad is good enough to compete at Premier League level.

And their defensive capabilities deserve much credit for their fine start with just six goals shipped in their opening seven matches, which is why reports linking them with a move for Benfica defender Lisandro Lopez are somewhat surprising.

The 28-year-old is struggling for regular football at the Portuguese heavyweights but it’s arguable that the Magpies aren’t in dire need of defensive reinforcements – there are other areas that need attention first.

If Lopez were to arrive, he’d surely come in as cover for the likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark, and while that is certainly needed as the season progresses, the Argentina defender would likely be in a similar position at St James’ Park as he is now with Benfica.

Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!